Difference between revisions of "Rattan"

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[[Image:Pcfr111Rattan in tropical rainforest.jpg|thumb|Man demonstrating theRattan flexibilitygrowing ofin a rattantropical canerainforest.]]
[[Image:Rattan plant detail.jpg|thumb|Detail of a cut-off stem showing the spiny outside and the core.]]
 
'''Rattan''' (from the Malay and Indonesian word ''rotan'') is a palm in the tribe ''Calameae''. The term rattan usually refers to the material obtained from the stems of rattan palms. Rattan is native to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australasia, and grows vine-like, scrambling through and over other vegetation.
 
Rattans are climbing palms. In the tropical rainforest, most of the time they wait as little palms on the forest floor. When trees fall creating a gap in the canopy, the increased light streaming down transforms them into climbing mode. Their spiny tendrils catch onto supporting trees to pull the rattan up. As they grow on, the vines often become too heavy for the support and fall back in large loops, only to claw back up again.
Rattan material is cylindric, lightweight, and yellowish-beige or light brown [[color]]ed. It is a type of [[cane]] and comes in diameters from a few millimeters up to 5-7 cm. Its main difference to other canes such as [[bamboo]] is that rattan is spongy-solid, not hollow, and very flexible. It is the special flexibility of rattan that makes it popular for a multitude of uses.
 
Rattan vines can grow up to a length of 200 metres from root to tip. To get water to their leaves high in the canopy, they have to be efficient pumps, moving water up their [[cane]]s at rates of a metre per minute.
 
== Commercial rattan ==
 
Rattan material is cylindric, lightweight, and yellowish-beige or light brown [[color]]ed. It is a type of [[cane]] and comes in diameters from a few millimeters up to 5-7 cm. Its main difference to other canes such as [[bamboo]] is that rattan is spongy-solid, not hollow, and very flexible. It is the special flexibility of rattan that makes it popular for a multitude of uses.
 
There are roughly 600 species of rattan, but only a few species are used commercially. Commercially harvested and processed rattan comes in diameters from a few millimeters up to 5-7 cm. Most (70%) of the world's rattan population exists in [[Indonesia]]. The rest of the world's supply comes from the [[Philippines]], [[Sri Lanka]], Malaysia and [[Bangladesh]].
 
After harvesting, rattan is usually peeled to create a smooth surface and to remove the spines that some species have; in further processing, it is cut to the desired lengths. It is used for making [[furniture]], baskets, [[carpet beater]]s, walking canes, staves for martial arts, and canesvarious forother [[corporal punishment]] (see [[caning]])uses. Rattan can be painted, like [[wood]], but usually it is only transparently varnished to keep the natural look of the product.
 
== Rattan canes for corporal punishment ==
[[Image:Pcfr111.jpg|thumb|Man demonstrating the flexibility of a rattan cane.]]
 
Rattan canes are also used for [[corporal punishment]] (see [[caning]]). The flexibility of the material makes caning with rattan distinct from caning using other materials.
After harvesting, rattan is usually peeled to create a smooth surface and to remove the spines that some species have; in further processing, it is cut to the desired lengths. It is used for making [[furniture]], baskets, [[carpet beater]]s, walking canes, staves for martial arts, and canes for [[corporal punishment]] (see [[caning]]). Rattan can be painted, like [[wood]], but usually it is only transparently varnished to keep the natural look of the product.
 
Rattan canes arehave been used for [[school corporal punishment]] mainly in the British Commonwealth (including [[India]], [[Sri Lanka]], [[Australia]] and [[New Zealand]]) and in [[Europe]]. They still used for [[judicial corporal punishment]] in [[Malaysia]], [[Singapore]] and [[Brunei]], among other countries.
 
Rattan canes are also popular toys for [[censensual]] [[spanking]] and [[BDSM]] play. Sometimes, the players may re-enact school corporal punishment, such as the classic "[[six of the best]]" in the [[touching-toes position]].
Most (70%) of the world's rattan population exists in [[Indonesia]]. The rest of the world's supply comes from the [[Philippines]], [[Sri Lanka]], Malaysia and [[Bangladesh]].
 
== See also ==